A purposeful annual meeting. Installing a toilet at Bracken Saddle on the Mahu Whenua Covenant

Annual meeting

Back in June, when we were all optimistic of an amazing winter, the club had its annual meeting. A group of about 25 walked up to Bracken Saddle and installed one of the 5 toilets the club built for the Mahu Whenu Covenants as part of our commitment to the conservation project. We then retired to the “Fork and Tap” to review the club finance over beer and pizza. It was a great day, with a sense of doing something of value, meeting new people and reviewing the state of the club..

A brief summary of the state of the club:

  • We are in good health. The Turks are in good condition with no major maintenance issues.
  • There is a steady and manageable growth in club membership.
  • The bank account is healthy with $100k tucked away.
  • The Turk usage fees ($20 per night) are covering the cost of depreciation (accumulation of $30k, depreciating 10% per year).
  • We self insure the Turks so the healthy bank balance is important.
  • The increase in the bank balance, excluding depreciation allowance, is from capital contributions of new members joining. Money that will be used to build more Turks.
  • There is a lot of interest and motivation to build more Turks! (more on this below)

Mountain Turk Film, Canterbury Mountaineering Club presentation

Mark Johansoon’s film called “Mountain Turks” won the best documentary in the New Zealand Film Festival and is a great portrait of the club and the people involved in the project. The film is also entered in international film festivals (Banff, Kendal etc.) and I expect it to do very well displaying the New Zealand spirit. Check out the preview here:

Mountain Turks – Trailer on Vimeo

The film is showing this Thursday in Christchurch:

  • Date: Thursday 7 September
  • Where: Turanga (Christchurch Central Library), TSB Room (Level 1)
  • Time/duration. From 5:30pm. Kick-off at 6pm. The film & talk will likely be finished by 7:30pm
  • Cost: $10 – CMC fundraiser

Tickets can be purchased here:  https://cmc.net.nz/product/mountain-turks-erik-bradshaw/

I’ll be there and will give a brief presentation about the club, how it works and possible new Turk location in Canterbury. There will be additional time for some questions.

Using the last of gas canisters

On a recent visit to a Turk there was a collection of gas canisters with only a bit remaining.  In cooler temperatures the last 10% is difficult to use because the evaporation of the gas cools the canister down to the point when you are suffering PTSD waiting for your favourite drink. A simple solution is to place the canister in a shallow bowl of warm water. This will make it spring back to life like a tired hiker with an intravenous coffee injection.

You are never too young

Several people have commented on my previous newsletter featuring some ladies whose age was such that I could only mention it as an aggregate total. It acted as an inspiration for people to realise their age was no barrier to doing the Mahu Whenua traverse.
At the other end of the spectrum here is a photo of Kaja and Sable, 11 and 10 years old, on top of Mt Sale. They carried their gear up from the road, stayed at the Crown Basin Turk for the night and continued up to the top of Mt Sale to get some nice turns in on the way down. They weren’t scared by the high snow line and carrying a bit of gear  – Sable’s setup was heavier than most adults twice her size!

More Turks

In almost every Turk conversation there comes a point at which people start asking when we’re going to build more Turks. There are many good ideas such as one on Advance Peak (Mahu Whenua Covenant), a mobile one on the Tasman Glacier (moved up every few years), a possible replacement for Murchison Hut for the Symphony on Skis route. Suggestion of something behind Fox or Franz Josef.

I’m slowly building a mental picture and bracing myself to tackle another construction project. By far the biggest issue is getting the permission to locate a Turk on a piece of land – the building and installing is the fun part.
My criteria for a good site is:

  • Has good use potential in both summer and winter
  • Can be used as a destination in its own right
  • Is 2-4 hours from the road or another hut
  • A minimum of 4 years land use agreement (sites can be experimental)
  • Is relatively close (less then 3 hours driving) to a population base with motivated people who want to care for a Turk

If you have a wonderful place in mind please send an email with a dot on a map!

Erik Bradshaw
027 241 8571

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